Welcome to the third post in our Sustainable Procurement Series for public sector and higher education procurement professionals. We are exploring sustainable procurement, why it matters, how Periscope’s purpose intersects with it, examples of sustainable procurement in action, and how you can take action. Come back next Friday for the final post in this series. Click
Today’s post explores some examples of sustainable procurement in action.
This Committee was responsible for:
- Creating Purchasing Guidelines that address practices, products, services, and food that reduce negative impacts on human health
- Creating an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Best Practices Manual
- Creating and implementing a Strategy to Increase EPP Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
- Maryland is piloting the reporting initiative now with the 20 constitutional agencies.
- Since the agencies are not yet all on a single system, the process they are going through is manual (leveraging Google Docs and running a report from there).
- Even with a more manual effort, the use of a standard coding system can help everyone report on an “apples-to-apples” basis. This is a strong testimonial to the value of the NIGP Code and its importance in helping to organize procurement data.
Read more about Maryland’s Green Purchasing efforts in the 2013 Maryland Green Purchasing Committee Annual Report.
Program Goals: The primary goal of the EPP Program is to use the Commonwealth’s purchasing power to reduce the environmental and public health impact of state government and foster markets for EPPs. We are faced everyday with the reality that many of the products we buy can cause damage to the environment and/or public health from the extraction of raw materials and the manufacture of products, to their use and disposal, products that we use every day can be harmful. By purchasing EPPs, we look to reduce those impacts, some of which can be severe. The choices we make affect our local environment, our health and the global community. The power of the purse is an extremely effective tool for promoting products that do less harm and contribute to the overall well-being of our planet.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a detailed Recycled and Environmentally Preferable Products and Services Guide that contains an alphabetical listing of all the products and services that have recycled content or other environmentally preferable features available on Massachusetts Statewide Contracts.
Example #3: San Bernardino County ~ Source: NACo Green Purchasing Toolkit, Success Stories
- County: San Bernardino County, CA
- Population: 2,035,210
- Total Annual Procurement: $840 Million
- County Staff: 16,978
- Green Purchasing Policy Adoption: 2009
The Standard Practices include standard solicitation and contract language, definitions, environmental factors and service labels, and other market considerations for environmentally preferred products. In various categories, desired products are identified for stated reasons. The documents also outline practices related to the county’s printing and stationery policies, office equipment standards, and toxins and hazardous waste to be avoided.
Recommended Best Practices for Developing a Green Team:
- Include representatives from a diverse selection of county departments.
- Invite knowledgeable and proactive participants. When possible, include elected officials and their staff in the process.
- Develop goals and a timeline for accomplishments.
- Meet regularly.
You can read more Sustainable Procurement Success Stories by visiting the NACo Green Purchasing Toolkit and the NASPO Green Purchasing Guide, which includes a list of green purchasing policies and programs currently utilized in other states and localities.
Be sure to come back next week for the final post in our Sustainable Procurement Series! Tell us about your sustainable procurement efforts and challenges by commenting on this post. Have a great day!